1. BACKGROUND INFORMATION
1.1. Beneficiary countries
Republic of Bulgaria and Republic of Macedonia
1.2. Contracting Authority
Municipality of Stip, Republic of Macedonia
Municipality of Kyustendil, Republic of Bulgaria
1.3. Relevant country background
The project Shared Knowledge – Investment in the Future is financed by the Bulgaria – FYR of Macedonia IPA Cross-border Programme. The project's overall objective is „To develop a Virtual Project Management Centre (VPMC) and Network to be used by the municipal administrations of Kyustendil and Stip, local SME and NGOs for joint project development and implementation and strengthening joint investment marketing capacities of the trans-border region.”
The specific project objectives are
• To develop and implement an interactive web-based information system and project repository for the knowledge sharing in project generation and management in the area of joint economic development (including investment marketing initiatives) for SME, economic NGOs and municipal administrations;
• To facilitate the access and establish an integrating media for the active inclusion of SME, NGOs and other economic agents in the process of generating and implementing projects and initiatives which add value to the cross border region;
• To improve the management skills and competencies of the representatives of the municipal administrations, SME and economic NGOs;
• To improve public awareness, public transparency and trust;
The project’s is financed by the IPA funding and national co-financing provided by both countries.
1.4. Current state of affairs in the relevant sector
The Municipality of Stip, as the Project leader is responsible for smooth management of the project and for the joint implementation of the activities. One of the main tasks of the Municipality of Stip in terms of project management includes conduction of tender procedures for Investment Marketing Analysis of Economic Development Needs services. The findings and conclusions of the analysis will be used for further identifying and generating SK-IF project outlines applying the newly developed system and as the basic information source of updated information and data to successfully conduct municipal and business investment marketing workshops to be participated by public bodies officials, SME representatives, NGOs, project team and representatives of the local economic development groups and to be held in Stip, FYR of Macedonia, and in Kyustendil, R Bulgaria.
2. OBJECTIVE, PURPOSE & EXPECTED RESULTS
2.1. Overall objective
The overall objective of the project, of which this contract, is to support the joint SK-IF project team in implementing Investment Marketing Analysis of Economic Development Needs, which is to underpin the overall conceptual model of the SK-IF.
The purposes of this contract are:
- Research the current state-of-affairs in the cross border region (Stip - Kyustendil) target area in terms of – project pie – project indicative lists and priorities established and identification of major stakeholders;
- Propose market analysis based on the research containing key success factors and market positioning strategy;
2.3. Results achieved by the Consultant
As a result of project’s implementation the following results were achieved:
- The current state-of-affairs in the cross boarder region (Stip - Kyustendil) target area researched, project indicative lists and priorities established and major stakeholders identified;
- The market analysis was based on the research containing key success factors and market positioning strategy was proposed and presented;
3.1. Assumptions underlying the project intervention
Implementation of the current contract support both the Municipality of Stip and the Municipality of Kyustendil in process of implementation of Shared Knowledge – Investment in the Future project and in particular – updating the state of affairs information in the cross border region and identifying the key success factors and marketing positioning strategy.
The updates of the state of affairs in the border region is particularly valuable to identify future target markets in this region, the disclosure of strategic industries, to meet those needs; orientation of business to prospective proceedings based upon developing networks. All this allow not only to predict the key factors for the success of the marketing strategies of both partners, but will also allow integration into a greater extent.
Possible effects on the development of networks between municipalities are found in the following directions:
- Creating conditions for sustainable and balanced development in both regions separately, and between them, seen as parts of an integrated economic region;
- Formation of stable economic growth of Commons ahead of economic growth on both sides separately, due to the integration of activities within and between them, as well as achieving economic synergistic effect;
- Creation of most of the potential for joint initiatives of NGOs and business, and between municipal structures, causing a multiplier effect in the regions;
- Transfer of know-how and exchange of „best practices” in the use of EU funds and other development-oriented knowledge economy;
- Improving the competitiveness of the two regional economies (agriculture, light industry and tourism) through integration, modernization and upgrading of production facilities, introducing new technologies and innovation, improve access to information to the European Union funds.
- Creating sustainable employment, promotion of equal opportunities, including young people, to improve relations „city - village” for integrated local development.
- Improvement and development of infrastructure in the municipality of Municipality Kyustendil and Stip, as a factor in attracting investment, improving business - environment and opportunities for development of tourism.
- Protection of cultural and natural heritage, sustainable and environmentally friendly use of that heritage tourism development, appropriate social environment and opportunities for cultural and educational development.
- Improving the institutional capacity of the public authorities of both partners, and other business organizations and institutions for joint local development.
4. SCOPE OF THE WORK
4.1.1. Description of the assignment
The contract will support the Municipality of Stip in overall process of implementation of the project SK-IF. The assignment includes studying the current state-of-affairs in the cross boarder region (Stip - Kyustendil) target area and elaboration of market analysis with key success factors and strategy.
According to primary market research, the project SK-IF should be directed to solving the problems of „magic quadrangle” in between the two communities: sustainable economic growth - growth in employment and reducing unemployment (especially among young people) - increase opportunities balanced for „export” to other municipalities as well, and between the two partners (each municipality) - increase of revenues in local budgets. Basis for solving the problems of „magic quadrangle” are „best practices” and integration capabilities to guide and promote the use of EU funds to the concerned target groups.
The synergistic effect of the development in terms of „magic quadrangle” in an indirect way will contribute to the sustainability of other subsystems: nature, services, science, market environment, culture, labor market.
4.1.2. Target groups
Stip and Kyustendil local government bodies, SME and NGOs representatives and the project team staff.
4.2. Specific activities
Activity 1. Initial results from the survey of the current situation in the border region - the target area (Stip - Kyustendil):
So far, the two communities are considered by each of them as autonomous and independent socio-economic areas, separated by a perfect border. This method of „atomized” estimate, especially in terms of valuation of investments leads to „closed” and unshared knowledge.
Law of the European Union reveals that unshared knowledge and investments are aimed at present and private, shared knowledge while preparing for the future. In other words, „shared knowledge” create an information network that leads to the binding of „best practices” in discovering the opportunities and fund management, as well as greater synergy.
In the „open” and knowledge sharing two economic areas are associated with lasting partnership - economic, social, recreational, educational, etc.
„Shared Knowledge” is not only an „Investment in the Future”, but even just under the economic effect leads to induced growth measured over 2% annually for the first five years, employment increased by about 3% annually, coordinated municipal policies to attract investment activities result in 5-7% over traditional. Accordingly, local priorities and run better and municipal budgets to provide additional stable revenue of about 4-5%. Finally, expanding the possibilities of attracting additional and more valuable of donor programs, which will strongly influence the development of the border region Kyustendil - Stip.
At the same time launched a project can be interpreted as (1) optimal (from the perspective of „resources - effects”) in the practices of both communities, and as (2) starter for joint initiatives in the future. As part of this project may need to be generated five (5) specific project ideas that could be further developed and implemented in the near future.
Activity 2. Market analysis, key success factors and strategies for positioning:
The Complete primary „Needs analysis of the economic development” of the two communities reveals current and future needs of interrelated programs, investments and knowledge. They are fully in line with economic development strategies adopted and implemented by both administrations. Identified key success factors: coordinated sectoral investment strategies, competitive industries, targeting, branding and positioning of products and services offered by the two integrated region.
Progress is the primary benchmarking best practices of other larger communities as the recognized best practices of the EU. Findings are derived through the main points of the analysis identified the key factors for success, ready to be presented and discussed between representatives of the target groups in the City and business seminars on marketing investment. It is quite possible to draw „ Handbook of marketing strategies that can be applied in the use of EU funds” The whole process of integration „shared knowledge” between municipalities can be controlled to a large extent - planning, implementation, control.
„The analysis of the economic development needs” of the two regions can be differentiated by sectoral needs and production potential, current and prospective needs of regions of comparative effectiveness and attainable market share. It is similar to „Handbook of marketing strategies that can be applied in the use of EU funds” can help identify the needs and opportunities through precise definition of absorbance as market opportunities through contemporary art market research, as well as through the development of advanced marketing mix (product, price, distribution, promotion, people, process, physical environment, ecology).